Historically, innovation filtered from the top down. Today (within the IT sector particularly), leading organizations are those that champion innovation internally and encourage employees to experiment, irrespective of rank or job title. Embracing change, taking initiative, and risking failure are all signs of a pioneering spirit. Encouraging that mindset among all members of staff can result in huge benefits to the organization. Scientist Ray Kurzweil coined the term The Law of Accelerating Returns, which refers to the fact that technological progress, up until now, has doubled every decade. If Kurzweil’s law holds true, we are looking at 200 centuries of progress within this century alone. With exponential growth like this, it will become critical that we move away from straight line approaches and experiment with new ways of doing things.
The technology landscape in Northern Europe is pushing boundaries forward for the rest of the world. The total population of the Nordic countries is only 3% of Europe’s population, but between 2005 and 2015 they received 16% of tech venture capital, spawned 50% of billion-dollar exits and 24% of Deloitte’s Europe Fast-500 companies. To add to this, the UK is dominating the fintech scene in Europe, boasting more billion-dollar fintech companies than the rest of the continent combined. This all represents a massive opportunity, but to truly take advantage of it, we need to make sure we are moving with it, thinking of new ways to win, and writing our own pioneering rules.
A new Citrix-commissioned report, published by Lancaster University and The Work Foundation, “Productivity, Technology & Working Anywhere,” exposed a direct correlation between companies that champion innovation and entrepreneurship, and companies that are more productive.
The study claims outstanding leaders are those who empower employees to create something new. And while it can be nerve-racking to be the first to break new ground, it’s the only way progress can truly happen.
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